As much as I treasure a delicious meal to host a gathering at home offers benefits beyond the food, gifts often overlooked. If work requires gathering at a restaurant, the same applies: bringing people together provides promises beyond what’s served on the plate. Even serving a favorite, boxed macaroni is fine if we’re enthused about the possibilities that manifest when we welcome people to our table. Leading and entertaining are intertwined.
Hosting a gathering should be at the top of our list. Why?
- At the table we…Experience the best of one another, our full authentic selves. Often a frenetic pace dampens a sense of all we bring to a community. Conversing with others awakens the mind, body and soul to our whole person!
- At the table we…Uncover a world within each person, not just the one projected by what we’re seeing. Conversation deepens understanding and engenders empathy. As host we pose thoughtful questions to guests. Then, we listen whole-heartedly absorbing the story with all our senses. We’ll know when it’s time to ask another question or comment or include a new thought or person in the exchange. Guests will reciprocate and conversation will comfortably continue.
- At the table we…Appreciate how life unfolds. Through sharing our stories we catch a glimpse of how actions and experiences are intertwined. We gain wisdom about life’s large tapestry.
- At the table we…Encounter goodness and abundance in front of us. We ‘re reminded to take in the moments right then and there. We feel grateful.
- At the table we…Empower one another through listening. When others look us in the eye and nod their heads, signaling acknowledgement, it affirms us.
- At the table we…Create synchronicity in overt and less known ways. Even if we don’t hold hands, we are deeply touching one another by being present and engaged with those around us. Conversation engenders understanding. Once we understand, then we take action.
Although I’m enthralled by food, I wouldn’t hesitate to serve macaroni out of a box. My guess is that guests would have something to say about their own favorite macaroni and conversation would move on from there. Gathering at the table offers adventure into unchartered territory with “things that could be”.